The Amazon event brought with it a new treat for those into the Echo Show line of home assistants, the Echo Show 15, a 15-inch, 1080p display that is supposed to hang on your wall. So pull down the picture of granddad, because it’s time to keep tabs on your calendars and play music out of the wall.
It will cost $249 and is available from Amazon later on in the year.
What’s the point of the Echo Show 15?
With its massive display, the Echo Show 15 is intended to be a ‘hub’ for the family to use, displaying everything from to-do lists, photos, and even links with Ring cameras to display activity.
There is the option to just nestle it in the corner, like in the kitchen, to use it like a more traditional tablet, but it appears so far that type of mount will be available separately if Amazon representatives are to be believed.
On the front is a camera, which, as we’ve pointed out previously with the Ring Doorbell, can be an issue with sharing that information with bad actors or even leaking it to the wider web.
Amazon claims the 5-megapixel camera will only store facial recognition data locally, even turning it all the way off if you decide to cover it up or use the built-in shutter. This means if you decide – for whatever reason – to introduce more than one into the house, you’ll need to get the whole family around each screen to input their face for unlocking or showing specific things.
Messy Wires and Monitor Worries
The Verge and other reports have said that the plug and power cable sort of dangle down from the frame, leaving it very messy. You’d probably have to figure a way to get it through the wall or mask it yourself, much like when you mount a TV. For the cost and level of luxury they’re aiming for, you’d think Amazon would have figured out a better way to deal with this.
When mounting, it can go vertical or horizontal, and being honest, does look quite neat in the photos provided. I like the large white bezel to disguise it as a regular frame in the house, however, I will be curious about the actual monitor itself being of any use on days where the sun might cause issues.
Amazon did state that it will use a new Widget system, which has an API for developers to access, but much like Amazon’s Skill System for Alexa, it might go underutilized.
Having used the previous Echo Show, I can say that this seems like a better form factor for the line, as the bulky nature and lackluster screen only made it a half-decent speaker. Not being able to cast to it either has been a constant hassle, so hopefully, this one is more open in that regard.